Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | August 19, 2015

“You are justified when You speak And blameless when You judge.”

Today’s devotion comes from 2 Kings Chapter 17.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Kings+17&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“6 In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and carried Israel away into exile to Assyria, and settled them in Halah and Habor, on the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.

7 Now this came about because the sons of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them up from the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and they had feared other gods 8 and walked in the customs of the nations whom the Lord had driven out before the sons of Israel, and in the customs of the kings of Israel which they had introduced.  9 The sons of Israel did things secretly which were not right against the Lord their God.  Moreover, they built for themselves high places in all their towns, from watchtower to fortified city.  10 They set for themselves sacred pillars and Asherim on every high hill and under every green tree, 11 and there they burned incense on all the high places as the nations did which the Lord had carried away to exile before them; and they did evil things provoking the Lord.  12 They served idols, concerning which the Lord had said to them, “You shall not do this thing.”  13 Yet the Lord warned Israel and Judah through all His prophets and every seer, saying, “Turn from your evil ways and keep My commandments, My statutes according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you through My servants the prophets.”  14 However, they did not listen, but stiffened their neck like their fathers, who did not believe in the Lord their God.  15 They rejected His statutes and His covenant which He made with their fathers and His warnings with which He warned them.  And they followed vanity and became vain, and went after the nations which surrounded them, concerning which the Lord had commanded them not to do like them.  16 They forsook all the commandments of the Lord their God and made for themselves molten images, even two calves, and made an Asherah and worshiped all the host of heaven and served Baal.  17 Then they made their sons and their daughters pass through the fire, and practiced divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking Him.  18 So the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them from His sight;  none was left except the tribe of Judah.

19 Also Judah did not keep the commandments of the Lord their God, but walked in the customs which Israel had introduced.  20 The Lord rejected all the descendants of Israel and afflicted them and gave them into the hand of plunderers, until He had cast them out of His sight.”  2 Kings 17:6-20.

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Today’s Scripture presents God’s justice in punishing Israel.  After we read all of the evil things that Israel did, particularly after all of the warnings, we can only conclude that God acted justly in His punishment of Israel.

Other doctrine is only concerned about man and what happens to man.  It looks inward at man’s predicament.  It may seek forgiveness, but it is only concerned about the effect of the sin on man, namely the pain of punishment.

But, Reformed Doctrine seeks to look upward at God and properly recognize God’s qualities and glorify God.   Reformed Doctrine also seeks forgiveness, but because it is primarily concerned about the effect of sin on God, namely that sin is a transgression against God.  Reformed Doctrine seeks to understand the justice of God in rendering the punishment.  Reformed Doctrine seeks to glorify God for His justice.

“1 Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness;
According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity
And cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I know my transgressions,
And my sin is ever before me.
Against You, You only, I have sinned
And done what is evil in Your sight,
So that You are justified when You speak
And blameless when You judge.”  Psalm 51:1-4.

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